Category: Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

Author Guest Post | “The Valley” (The Druid Chronicles, Book Two, a Prequel) by A.M. Linden

Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts and fellow book bloggers from the #TheDruidChronicles tour!

You might have been curious where I’ve been this Summer, as I haven’t been actively posting on my blog nor on my feeds via Twitter. The truth is after Wyrd And Wonder ended in May, my life turnt a bit upside down with car issues and climatic health issues; as Summers are the worst seasons for me next to Spring; as one brings my chronic allergies back into my life and the other brings back the murderously hot humidity and heat. It was my intention to bring four posts to Jorie Loves A Story this week – as I was planning to start re-populating my blog with posts this past Sunday, however, as time reflects otherwise, those posts are still in queue to be written and edited.

Part of what I’m enjoying right now is finishing my readings and review of Walks with Spirits by Edale Lane (my final selection from Wyrd And Wonder) as well as diving into The Unveilling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte Whitney which was held over from late Spring. I am also currently reading The Valley which is the focus of today’s guest feature by A.M. Linden as it is such an interestingly told story! This book actually features a bit of a purview and prequel to the series – as I was meant to receive The Oath as well (which thankfully our tour hostess is checking on right now as my copy went amiss) which interconnects into The Valley; despite the fact the events of The Valley occur prior to The Oath.

As it is explained by the author in a note within The Valley – the whole series is hinged to what happens inside this particular novel and I found that a wicked place to begin my readings rather than to read The Oath first as I felt The Valley was a better starting place and foundation to better understand the fuller vision of the author’s goals for The Druid Chronicles. This isn’t the first foray I’ve had in undertaking hidden niches of History or in reading about the Saxons or other murkier and unknown parts in History, too. Sometimes I find myself enchanted by the unknowns and harder to understand annals of History to where you have to take a lot of creative fortitude to both understand and seek out in fiction as you want to find authors who are striving to give us a story that is both imagined and nearly as accurate as it can become as those days were once lived, too.

Your given a lot of information before you begin reading The Valley – as Linden outlines the continuous threads of her series: the Druid Chronicles in the opening pages of this sequel which is really a prequel within the series itself. This novel follows The Oath within the publication of the series but in truth, pulls back time within the framework of the series itself to better align us with the events within the series before moving into book three to five. This is why I felt it was a good stepping stone to enter The Druid Chronicles whilst Linden also talked about a recapture of interest for what her characters were going through during The Oath.

It was a hard-hitting story from that angle as one woman simply wanted to have her freedom whilst two other characters were striving to find where they belong when their community was no longer secure and stable due to a betrayal. As this all takes place at a point in History where there is a lot of empathsis on religion and religious backgrounds, it was interesting to see the cross-overlays between what the Druids believed and what was being presented through early eras of Christianity. This was also a period of time fraught with violence and instability in regards to politics and/or the aligning of power within the context of the timeline of the series as well.

For now, let’s enjoy this teaser of insight into both the series and the writing styling of the author whose charming us with her spin on Druid History and historic timelines. Similar to how Walks with Spirits is an entreaty of vision and presence within the Native cultures and spirituality of First Nations, The Valley seeks to explore the beliefs, cultures and traditions of the Druids – of whom are still very unknown and understood in today’s contemporary world. I love whenever writers such as Lane and Linden seek to highlight and entreat inside communities we could not otherwise meet and better understand without their thoughtfulness of vision and exploration into those cultural heritages and thereby, give us something unique to read.

And, without further adieu – enjoy the response Ms Linden shared with us!

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The Druid Chronicles:

The Oath by A.M. LindenThe Valley by A.M. Linden

The Oath (book one)

In the wake of a betrayal that threatens an end to their way of life, the last members of a secluded pagan cult send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess’s sister, who was abducted by a Saxon war band fifteen years ago. With only a rudimentary grasp of English and the ambiguous guidance of an oracle’s prophecy, Caelym manages to find Annwr living in a hut on the grounds of a Christian convent.

Annwr has spent her years of captivity caring for the timid Aleswina, an orphaned Saxon princess who was consigned to the cloistered convent by her cousin, King Gilberth, after he assumed her father’s throne. Just as Caelym and Annwr are about leave together, Aleswina learns that Gilberth, a tyrant known for his cruelty and vicious temper, means to take her out of the convent and marry her. Terrified, she flees with the two Druids–beginning a heart-pounding adventure that unfolds in ways none of them could have anticipated.

The Valley (book two) : A Prequel

Llwddawanden is a hidden sanctuary where remnants of a once-powerful pagan cult carry on their ancient ritual practices, supported by a small but faithful following of servants, craftsmen, and laborers.

Cut off from the outside world by both geography and conviction, the Druids of Llwddawanden continue to venerate the Great Mother Goddess and to view themselves as the first-born and favorite of Her mortal children. While the belief that the most important of all divine beings gave birth to their ancestors and that Her spirit inhabits the body of their highest priestess is a tenuous conclusion in view of their reduced lot in life, the Druids of Llwddawanden believe it and are, for the most part, committed to carrying on the traditions handed down to them by their forbears.

Herrwn, the shrine’s chief priest and master bard, has the responsibility of overseeing the education of Caelym, the orphaned son of the cult’s previous chief priestess, as well as keeping the peace within the upper ranks of their order—two tasks that grow more difficult as the rivalry over which of the three highest priests will claim Caelym as his disciple grows, and as mounting conflicts between the current chief priestess and her only living daughter threaten to rend the fabric of a society that has endured for more than a millennium.

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #Druids and #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheDruidChronicles as well as #HFVBT

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About A.M. Linden

Ann Margaret Linden was born in Seattle, Washington, but grew up on the East Coast before returning to the Pacific Northwest as a young adult. She has undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and in Nursing and a Master’s degree as a Nurse Practitioner.

After working in a variety of acute care and community health settings, she took a position in a program for children with special health care needs where her responsibilities included writing clinical reports, parent educational materials, provider newsletters, grant submissions and other program related materials.

The Oath is the first installment of The Druid Chronicles, a five-volume series that began as a somewhat whimsical decision to write something for fun and ended up becoming a lengthy journey that involved Linden taking adult education creative writing courses, researching early British history, and traveling to England, Scotland, and Wales. Retired from nursing, she lives with her husband, dogs, and cat in Bellingham, WA.

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Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2022 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

Author Guest Post | An inside glimpse behind the inspiration for the story “The Limits of Limelight” by Margaret Porter

Posted Wednesday, 29 September, 2021 by jorielov , 1 Comment

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts and fellow book bloggers from the #LimitsOfLimelight tour!

You’ve might have noticed an absence of Self Published Fantasy on Jorie Loves A Story this September as well as a clear lack of Mythos & discussions surrounding The Odyssey. In truth, the hours clicked off the clock too fast this month and I lost a fortnight to severe allergies and clustering migraines which wrecked my chances of succeeding in my goals I originally had outlined for September. I had only a handful of blog tours this month as I had pared down hosting after Summer’s wrath of lightning storms and felt it was going to be a good month to seek out a personal footpath of stories to read and listen to via audiobook. Instead, I found myself battling through some difficult bouts of ill health and even, on the morning of this post needing to go live – I suffered through a disastrous allergy attack and had to take time offline to recoup.

However, I will table my plans to re-attempt those previously disclosed reads at another time – what I want to celebrate today is my personal love and affection for Old Hollywood and my wicked fascination with Classic films! Ever since I first tucked into watching Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in my mid to late twenties (as I’m now a forty-something appreciator!) as I was fully burnt on police procedurals and hard-boiled Suspense tv serials – Classic films provided a new opportunity to fall in love with the history of film and the progression of how film transitioned through those earlier years from the Silent Film era into the present. I loved getting a personal glimpse of the journey – both of the actors themselves and of the filmmakers – as I watched how Hitchcock found his wings first in the Silent films and then, how he grew in both execution and vision into the ‘talkies’ of what we’ve all found wicked spellbinding in his category of Thrillers and Psychological Suspense.

Yet it wasn’t just Hitch who intrigued me. No, it was all of the actors and actresses of those bygone eras as TCM had a way of highlighting different actors and actresses every month and I’d delight in joy in seeing full blocks of their collective works. Claudette Corbet, Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Harlow Jean, (adult) Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, Rosalind Russell, Barbara Stanwyck and this on top of already loving Jimmy Stuart, Bob Hope, Shirley Temple, Rock Hudson, Doris Day as well as William Powell and Morna Loy (ie. “The Thin Man” series) among many others. As this is a very short snapshot of whom I’ve loved discovering and of whom have kept me glued to the films in which they brought wonderfully to life!

I even found myself wonderfully intrigued by the set designs and the costumes – which is how I became further in love with the work of Edith Head whilst I also found it keenly curious how large the productions were for Musicals. Being a lover of Broadway, seeing Classic Musicals and especially those which were both song/dance ensembles or a combination of those mixed with water scenes (as they used synchronised swimmers, too!) were absolutely fantastic! I also loved of course seeing actors/actresses stretch themselves into different genres – such as comedic men in dramas and vice versa. The only hard bit I found were good guys trying to play nefarious characters or characters without a soul which did not quite go off as well as I think they hoped. With one exception of course was Spencer Tracy in Jekyll/Hyde of whom you truly believed as as mad and batty as his character was portrayed! The depth he achieved is unreal!

The Limits of Limelight allows us to re-examine what we thought we knew about Old Hollywood and what we might have missed whilst chasing after our favourite Classic films as this is an exploration of the lives lived behind the films themselves. One of my top favourites duos of course outside of William Powell and Morna Loy or even Rock Hudson and Doris Day were the pairing of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. I had learnt about Astaire’s dedication and his work ethic as well as how much he rehearsed and how difficult it was for him to be matched with partners due to the bar of excellence he set for himself and others; yet you cannot deny the artistry he gave and maintained either. I had oft wondered about Ginger Rogers – both as a person behind the camera and as a woman who pursued her passion for acting and performance.

I was truly wicked happy when I learnt of this blog tour and even further enthused with the chance to converse with the author behind the story as it is one more book I’ve found which re-explores Old Hollywood in a way which is a delightful entrance back into the past in an era of interest which continues to inspire me in the present. I hope you’ll appreciate the topic and theme of discussion I’ve selected to examine on this lovely blog tour and find the author’s responses as keenly intriguing as I had myself.

And, without further adieu – enjoy where the conversation I had with Ms Porter took us!

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Author Guest Post | An inside glimpse behind the inspiration for the story “The Limits of Limelight” by Margaret PorterThe Limits of Limelight
Subtitle: Hollywood turned Ginger Rogers into a star. What will it do for her cousin?
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Pretty Oklahoma teenager Helen Nichols accepts an invitation from her cousin, rising movie actress Ginger Rogers, and her Aunt Lela, to try her luck in motion pictures. Her relatives, convinced that her looks and personality will ensure success, provide her with a new name and help her land a contract with RKO. As Phyllis Fraser, she swiftly discovers that Depression-era Hollywood’s surface glamour and glitter obscure the ceaseless struggle of the hopeful starlet.

Lela Rogers, intensely devoted to her daughter and her niece, outwardly accepting of her stage mother label, is nonetheless determined to establish her reputation as screenwriter, stage director, and studio talent scout. For Phyllis, she’s an inspiring model of grit and persistence in an industry run by men.

While Ginger soars to the heights of stardom in musicals with Fred Astaire, Phyllis is tempted by a career more fulfilling than the one she was thrust into. Should she continue working in films, or devote herself to the profession she’s dreamed about since childhood? And which choice might lead her to the lasting love that seems so elusive?

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Biography / Autobiography, Film History | Classic Hollywood



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780990742012

on 14th September, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as Biographical Historical Fiction
+ #LimitsOfLimelight, #GingerRogers and #ClassicFilms as well as #HFVBT

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

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Posted Wednesday, 29 September, 2021 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, the Fifties, the Forties, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties, the Thirties, The World Wars

Author Guest Post | The journey author Marilyn R. Wilson took to write “The Wisdom of Listening”

Posted Wednesday, 10 October, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Good morning, dear hearts!

You might remember my conversation with Ms Wilson or my ruminations on behalf of her first release Life Outside the Box, Volume One – today, I have the joy of her guesting on Jorie Loves A Story with an insightful response about how she fleshed together her inspiring idea behind her latest release: The Wisdom of Listening.

I wanted to dig into the heart of how she organised the sequences of discloses within this release as it has a unique rhythm of disclosures – as I initially settled into reading the individual passages, I noted how they strike a hearty balance between a slice of memoir, a candor of conversationalism and the kind of insight you would expect from a woman whose dedicated her life to listening to others who tell their story with the hope of inspiring someone by the experience of hearing their story told.

It is quite true – when she encourages you to read the passages out of sequence from how their arranged – you can take it upon yourself to curate a bit of a personal experiment – which passages are drawing your eye towards them first? Which ones speak to you the most? Try it! You might be pleasantly surprised – as I knew I was as I was reading – I was automatically seeking out more of her own personal declarations – the pieces of this installment in her evolving series of Real People | Real Lives which takes on its own canon of originality with each book she writes – something which struck me as interesting as I was not expecting this to be the case.

Similar to reading anthologies – I took this edition to be of the same vein – a wanderlust of inspiration wherein you are never quite certain which piece or short will draw you into the folds of the message it has left behind for you to find. Each of these pieces curate their own fingerprint of insight into what Ms Wilson has gleamed as an interviewer but also, as an experiencer of life spent observing the keen awareness we all have within us to contemplate as we shift through our transitions – where memory and experience intermix and re-settle the thoughts as they once percolated to mind when inspiration alights within us.

I will be revealling my thoughts upon reading this book lateron this week [on Friday, the 12th] – for now, tuck yourself into this guest post and enjoy your favourite cuppa as you do! I hope you will find it an inspiring read and perhaps it will help you decide if her books are meant to become one of your #nextreads!

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Author Guest Post | The journey author Marilyn R. Wilson took to write “The Wisdom of Listening”(Guest Post) The Wisdom of Listening
Subtitle: Pieces of Gold from a decade of interviewing and life
by Marilyn R. Wilson

The next time you're out in public, take a moment to look around you. Each and every person you see holds wisdom in their pockets--pieces of gold they've accumulated as they walked their own unique life journey.

Within these pages, Marilyn shares some of the many pieces of gold she has received over her decade-long career. They have been offered to her during interviews, through random encounters and while facing difficult challenges. The most important? We are each unique and exactly who we are meant to be.

Are you ready to dig for gold? All you need to do is be brave, be present in the moment and be open to the possibilities--then start a conversation.

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Interviews & Conversations, Non-Fiction, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780995314726

Also by this author: Life Outside The Box: The Extraordinary Journeys of 10 Unique Individuals, Author Interview with Marilyn R. Wilson, The Wisdom of Listening

Published by Influence Publishing Inc.

on 28th May, 2018

Published by: Influence Publishing Inc. (@influencepub)

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #NonFiction & #RealPeopleRealLives

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Posted Wednesday, 10 October, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Hero’s Best Friend: an Anthology of Animal Companions {edited by} Scott M. Sandridge

Posted Sunday, 20 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Tomorrow Comes Media and Seventh Star Press – whilst I participated on the blog tour in [2014] for this title, I was unable to read the stories for review until this year [2018]. I received a complimentary copy of “Hero’s Best Friend” direct from the publisher Seventh Star Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What originally drew me into wanting to read this lovely anthology:

Hero’s Best Friend

What I appreciate the most about this particular collection of stories is having each of them capture the essence of a genre-bending sphere of literary delight! They are representative of their actual genres, but they sound as though they give a bit more than what those branches of literature might usually encompass at the very same time! I love fiction that takes on new meanings and new depths, whether I am soaking into a book, a short story, or even whilst immersed into the latest Doctor Who episode I am discovering for the very first time! I find that the series is the epitome of ‘genre-bending’ and brilliance of execution on captivating a person’s attention at the jump-start beginning!

Sandridge and I share a common ground for appreciating animal companions, as his top three choices match my own, as I quite literally rented “Benji: the Hunted” from the rental shoppes so often they nearly gave me the VHS tapes for free! I say ‘nearly!’ as they never could seem to get permission from corporate to do so! Oy! I was simply captivated by Benji, for the same reasons I loved “The Adventures of Natty Gann” in which Natty’s companion is a wolf; “The Neverending Story” who as the wickedest dragon on the planet! (another film in common, he mentions this elsewhere on the tour!); the Mountain Family Robinson trilogy where Crest protected the family; previously I have mentioned my affection for “Pete’s Dragon”; and many others I am failing to draw to memory today! What I appreciate about Jack London is his ability to get your heart attached to a wolf in a way that is different than Natty Gann but is a bit similar to “Due South”; a tv series which features a deaf wolf who takes interest in protecting a Mountie!

From our beginnings of noting animal companions and animals in fiction, we differ a bit on our paths after childhood because I am suspecting the video games are not the ones I’d personally play myself! I’m always going to have half a step and foot on the family and children side of the ledger, not only because I’m a future foster-adoptive Mum, nor even because I’m an Auntie at present, but because I tend to like the innocence in stories for younger generations. I’d wrap myself into a family film far quicker than I would an intense video game! I am a gamer, a title I apparently acquired at three, as I’ve been playing games on the computer since I first started using one! Wayy back when Atari was all the rage and long before Nintendo or the ability to borrow my neighbourhood friend’s Sega Genesis so I could play with Sonic, the quirky hedgehog!

The best news of all, no matter how we gather our passions for animal companions, nor where we wander to find the companions that mean the world to their masters, we each have our own ‘coveted niche’ in the genres we appreciate reading and watching! And, I for one will always celebrate the uniqueness of our individual passions if we can sometimes draw a common thread towards each other and celebrate the love of story-telling which ignites a fever pitch passion for our imaginations!

-quoted from my Spotlight on behalf of Hero’s Best Friend

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#WyrdAndWonder Book Review | Hero’s Best Friend: an Anthology of Animal Companions {edited by} Scott M. SandridgeHero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions
by (Editor) Scott M. Sandridge, Herika R. Raymer
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Direct from Publisher

How far would Gandalf have gotten without Shadowfax? Where would the Vault Dweller be without Dogmeat? And could the Beastmaster been the Beastmaster without his fuzzy allies? Animal companions are more than just sidekicks. Animals can be heroes, too!

Found within are twenty stories of heroic action that focuses on the furries and scalies who have long been the unsung heroes pulling their foolish human buddies out of the fire, and often at great sacrifice-from authors both established and new, including Frank Creed, S. H. Roddey, and Steven S. Long.

Whether you're a fan of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Science Fiction, or just animal stories in general, this is the anthology for you! So sit back, kick your feet up, and find out what it truly means to be the Hero's Best Friend.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1937929510

Also by this author: , Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, Gifts of the Magi

Series: Anthologies from Seventh Star Press


Also in this series: Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy, , A Chimerical World, Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions


Published by Seventh Star Press

on 12th February, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 472

Published By: Seventh Star Press (@7thStarPress)
Available Formats: Trade paperback & Ebook

Genres: Short Story | Fantasy | Animals in Fiction

Converse on Twitter: #HerosBestFriendAntho & #7thStar

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Stories inside: Hero’s Best Friend:

Joy Ward: “Toby and Steve Save the World”

Frank Creed: “Dusk”

Cassie Schau: “The Hunter’s Boy”

Steven Donahue: “Grit”

Jason Cordova: “Hill 142”

Herika R. Raymer: “Dook”

Essel Pratt: “Brothers”

Lisa Hawkridge: “Ezra’s Girl”

S. H. Roddey: “Look What the Cat Dragged In.”

Steven S. Long: “The Wolf Sentinel”

Laura Anne Ewald: “Memorandum”

Cindy Koepp: “The Hat”

Ian Hunter: “Scarheid in the Glisting”

Steven Grassie: “The Masterless”

David Wright: “Wind of Change”

Renee Carter Hall: “The Emerald Mage”

Nick Bryan: “The Violet Curse”

Lillian Csernica & Kevin Andrew Murphy: “The Restless Armadillo”

Douglas J. Ogurek: “Stuck on the Squigglybounce”

Sheila Deeth: “Passage”

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About (Editor) Scott M. Sandridge

Scott M. Sandridge Photo Credit: Stephen Zimmer, taken on a book convention floor.

Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

Photo Credit: Stephen Zimmer, taken on a book convention floor

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Sunday, 20 May, 2018 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, Action & Adventure Fiction, An Editor Point of View, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Convention, Bookish Discussions, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Imaginarium, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Science Fiction, Seventh Star Press, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, The Writers Life, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Writing Style & Voice